Praying For Believers

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Hidden in Christ
In Colossians 1:25-27, Paul says, “I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness—the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Paul writes about this mystery and how simple it is to get lost in different ways of defining mystery. During Paul’s time, people would have believed many different myths and legend. But it's not any different than us today. Maybe the myths change, but the methods are still the same - there's a mystery that's been kept hidden. And the mystery is this: The hope of glory and the hope of dealing with the gap where we are glorified and made new and perfect is hidden within Christ, who's hidden within us. And that is the thing we've been searching for. You're not going to find real life hidden in other things. It's not going be hidden in a new home or in front row seats. It's not going to be hidden in a new relationship. Hidden within Jesus is a firm foundation and that is the real life that you’re searching for. Our prayer is that in this moment, we can all recognize that there's so many counterfeit things that we allow to captivate our heart and distract us from the things that God has ultimately called us to be. We don't want to chase the things of this world that alienate us from God. We want to pursue and know God, and we can close the gap by entrusting our full heart to Jesus, knowing we are made whole in him. DISCUSSION/REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Where have you looked for answers outside of God in the past? How can you take steps to entrust God with your full heart starting today?
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Gaps in Our Lives
The Bible lets us clearly know that the beginning of understanding the Gospels is understanding that, left on our own, there is a gap between us and God. The life that we want and the life that God wants for us – there's a gap between us and where that is. We can sense this gap in creation, we can sense it in society, we can sense it even within our own selves and our own hearts that we don't measure up. And so, in our search for real life, we're attempting to deal with this gap. We want to find out how do I deal with who I am versus who I want to be. In our attempt to deal our current state, it can be easy to be fooled by the fake. It can be easy for us to give into the counterfeit because, intuitively, we know that things don't add up, but we want them to be true so badly. Oftentimes, the most authentic and real people have this strange confidence when it comes to their weaknesses. They’re not bothered by their weaknesses, and they have a strange way of approaching their weaknesses. The most real people are just open with the gaps that they have. But all too often, what we usually end up doing is we try to minimize our gaps and hide them from everyone else. Sometimes we may justify them, or we double down on our weaknesses where we state, "that's just the way that I am". When we can openly and honestly discuss and take ownership of our flaws and weaknesses, we are taking a step closer to the real life that we desire.  DISCUSSION/REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Who is someone in your life that you consider to be authentic? How does this person approach their weaknesses, and what can you learn from their approach?
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A Real Relationship
Most of us are on this quest of searching for real life. But one of the mistakes we often make with things and object is we think they can make us happier and help us on the path to figuring out where we find real life. It's not that these things don't have value because they do. The problem is we misplace the amount of value they add to our lives; that a house can only make you as happy as your house can though. Front row seats at a concert will make you as exactly as happy as front row seats at a concert can. When we misplace the value with it, that's where the problem comes in. And so, all too often, this is what we do when we're searching for real life outside of Jesus. How long has it been since you've been in a real relationship where you felt known, and where you could really be transparent without having to hide all the messiness? Paul, in the book of Colossians, reminds the readers that they were made to have a real relationship with God. Not a relationship where you come to church on Sundays and feel bad about what you did throughout the week and just try harder to be better. You were made, like in the beginning in Genesis, to walk with the Father in the cool of the evening. He wants to know you. He wants to know your voice. He wants that voice in his ear. He wants to have a relationship with you. When you dive into that kind of relationship with Jesus, you will start to have the real joy, peace, hope, love, and transformation that all of us long for, but you have to be real and honest.  DISCUSSION/REFLECTION QUESTIONS: What objects or things have you looked to find real life in? How would you describe your relationship with God in terms of being fully and completely known?
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We Want the Real Thing
Colossians 1:9-12 states, “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.” In these verses, Paul says leans in and starts telling the reader about the real Jesus, and begins discounting all the false and fake information that many people had heard. Paul tells them that Jesus has rescued us from the dominion of darkness, and he's brought us into the kingdom of the Son that God loves. We have redemption and the forgiveness of sins. Paul wants to make sure you know the real life that the real Jesus offers. He goes on in verse 15 and says, “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” Scripture states that Jesus is literally all the fullness of the deity. God is in Jesus. Meaning if you want to know how God feels about sin, if you want to know how he feels about sinners, if you want to know how he feels about the poor, or how he how he feels about building community – all you have to do is look at Jesus. Jesus is the image of the invisible. He's the first born of all creation for in him all things were created. Things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rules or authorities, all things have been created through him and for him. He holds it all. DISCUSSION/REFLECTION QUESTIONS: What are some lies that you may have heard or even believed about Jesus in the past? What Scripture did you discover or relationship did you build that led you to the truth?